NAPLES, Fla. A Gulf Coast High School duo will be honored in Washington, D.C., for finding a way to simplify education via smartphones.
Seniors William Pembleton and Blake Anderson won the Congressional App Challenge for Florida’s 25th Congressional district.
The app, called “Deepstone” was created in just a month. It helps students become more organized by giving them the option to schedule classes and assignments. Users are offered rewards as an incentive to stay on track.
The pair learned the basics of computer science and coding at Gulf Coast. They used YouTube tutorials to teach them how to create an app.
The Congressional Internet Caucus and the non-governmental sponsor of the project, the Internet Education Foundation, began the competition three years ago in an effort to encourage kids to learn how to code.
“Every step of the way, every day, hour, minute, there’d be something new that I’d have to go and figure out how to do in order to put this together,” Anderson said.
Their work will be on display in the U.S. Capitol building and U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart will recognize them during a ceremony. All of it comes as a surprise to them.
“We thought there were some apps better than ours,” Pembleton said. “Then it came down to third place, second place, and finally first place, we finally won. We just didn’t expect it and we’re overflowed with joy.”
The annual competition is hosted by congressional members of each participating district and is coordinated by the Congressional Internet Caucus. The Internet Education Foundation is the non-governmental sponsor of CAC, according to the competition’s website.
Pembleton plans to study computer science in college and Anderson is interested in quantum physics. They are hoping they can make some profit from their app to fund their education.